Cards from a trade with Nick from Tennessee

January 4, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Posted in My Cards, Trades | Leave a comment

Here’s another card trade that I’ve been meaning to post about for a few weeks.  I traded some doubles of 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces to a reader named Nick in the Volunteer State who is working on building the set.  In return, Nick sent a couple of great Rays cards my way.

First up is a 2008 Topps Gold parallel of Cliff Floyd #1229/2008.  Topps Gold is one of my favorite types of parallels.  Floyd probably won’t be back with the Rays in 2009, and he might retire, but I’ll always remember his huge influence in turning the 2008 team into winners:

cliff_floyd_gold

Nick also threw in this card as a surprise:

brazelton_auto

The card is from 2002 “Topps 206”, a retro set that was obviously a precursor to Allen & Ginter.  If you had a time machine and went back to visit me in 2002, I would have been ecstatic about this card.  Dewon Brazelton was the Devil Rays’ first round pick in the 2001 draft, #3 overall.  He was a promising right-handed pitcher from Middle Tennessee State University.  In 2001, the #1 pick was Joe Mauer.  Mark Prior was #2, Brazelton was #3, Gavin Floyd was #4, and Mark Teixeira was #5.  At the time, Brazelton’s name didn’t seem out of place in that group.  I remember watching him pitch for the Durham Bulls in 2003 and telling my friends that he was going to be Tampa Bay’s future ace.  Unfortunately his development was hurt when he was rushed to the big leagues before he was ready.

Brazelton was actually a decent starting pitcher for the Devil Rays in the second half of 2004, and he followed that up with a good spring training in 2005, resulting in him being named the Opening Day starting pitcher.  He quickly shattered Lou Piniella’s confidence in him by going 1-8 with a 7.61 ERA.  When he was sent down to the minors, he went AWOL, disappearing for two weeks without contacting anyone in the organization.  When Andrew Friedman replaced Chuck Lamar as the general manager after the 2005 season, he traded Brazelton to San Diego, where he continued to not have success.  He played in the minors for Pittsburgh and Kansas City in 2007, and it looks like he’s out of baseball now.

Anyway, it’s fun to get a card of a guy like Dewon Brazelton to help me remember all of the misfortunes that the Rays had in the past and how far they’ve come.  It makes me really appreciate what they accomplished in 2008.  Six years after picking Brazelton in the first round, the Rays drafted another pitcher from the same hometown (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) with the #1 overall pick.  I think he’ll work out a lot better for them.  His name is David Price…

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